The online betting agency Neds got another backlash after it was forced to pull out another one of its adverts after complaints have been made to the Australian Standards Bureau (ASB).
The latest TV commercial that Neds was forced to withdraw was considered to be promoting excessive gambling according to the board of the Australian Standards Bureau. The ad and its tagline “It’s time to bet” has been removed from all websites and YouTube, too.
This is the second time the company suffers a sanction due to various complaints related to its adverts. The complaints about all five of the bookmakers’ adverts were filed by the organisation that helps problem gamblers in the country – Financial Counselling Australia. According to Lauren Levin, who is the body’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, the five adverts were unethical and must be pulled out.
Ms. Levin, those adverts promoted a behaviour or lying and deceiving other people in order to gamble. According to her, the advertising code rules needed to be more flexible and also consider the overall impact of such adverts.
Still, the Australian Standards Bureau found that only two of the commercials violated local advertising codes. It dismissed the complaints filed by the Financial Counselling Australia about the other three adverts. The gambling operator, on the other hand, has unpublished the ads in response to the two upheld cases for the adverts.
November Sees Two Neds’ Ads Removed
At the beginning of November, Neds which is the newest online bookmaker in the country, was made to stop running one of its ads running on free TV air after the local regulator found it encouraged “excessive gambling”, which breached local advertising codes.
Still, despite the fact that the first commercial was stopped from running on free-to-air TV right before the Melbourne Cup, the ad was allowed to be run across paid TV channels, across social media platforms, and part of the company’s corporate videos as well.
The bookmaker started operating on the territory of Australia only a couple of months ago, but it has already suffered backlash from the local regulatory authority, after several complaints about Neds’ “It’s Time to Bet” commercials that have been released on social media channels and on free-to-air TV.
At the time when the first commercial got suspended, the Director of Policy and Campaigns of Financial Counselling Australia, said she was pleased with the ASB decision, but shared some disappointed with the slow response of Neds to remove the ad. Ms. Levin criticised the company, saying it was supposed to immediately pull out the advertisement rather than waiting three days at the time when the Spring Racing Carnival was in its full swing.
Furthermore, Ms. Levin said no real sanctions such as fines or corrective advertising were imposed on the operator, which was not right.